Tag Archives: brandon longcrier

Airman Reprimanded for Calling on Mikey Weinstein

An Air Force Airman claims he received verbal reprimands after he was dissatisfied with the Air Force’s response and complained to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in 2010:

I met with the Cadet Wing Chaplain here at the time and the incident was forwarded up the chain-of-command. After over two weeks of nothing being said to anyone…I decided to bring this to MRFF’s attention. Mikey and MRFF were all over it and came down hard on USAFA.

I received verbal reprimands from Continue reading

Atheist Soldier, MRFF Member Goes Anonymous for Jesus Manga

Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has long relied on “anonymous clients” to support its ends (to their detriment, thanks to Chris Rodda). Conveniently, the lack of detail helps Weinstein obfuscate the appearance of being a self-licking ice cream cone — of creating and then “saving” his own clients — and it sometimes helps his numbers, as when supporters provide both attributable and anonymous support to his cause.

Unfortunately, Weinstein has been caught in these machinations before, as in 2010, when the USAFA pagan lay leader, TSgt Brandon Longcrier, was quoted publicly in the local paper, and then suddenly those same quotes appeared in an “anonymous” message to the MRFF.  Longcrier was already associated with the MRFF.  In other words, the complaint originated from within the MRFF, despite Weinstein’s efforts to portray it otherwise.

Similarly, a band of brothers teamed up with Weinstein to protest the USAFA invitation given to retired Lt Clebe McClary.  All but one of those participating in the public outcry were already activists associated with the MRFF — a fact they conveniently omitted, an obvious attempt to make their movement seem more “broad.”

In April of 2010, Akiva David Miller — also of the MRFF — wrote a letter to the MRFF complaining about religious symbolism in NASCAR.  Again, a member of the MRFF was writing a public letter to the MRFF — all for public show.

In other words, these aren’t forlorn, helpless troops calling out to Weinstein to be their savior.  They’re already “clients” of Weinstein, and they’re either volunteering or being solicited to pen diatribes that come across as pathetic and plaintive cries for help from the “repressed.”

Now, Weinstein’s done it again.  In fact, Weinstein may have gone a step further and actually manufactured a complaint to fit his needs.

Yesterday, Weinstein released a message complaining about a “Jesus Manga” comic book, calling it “anti-Semitic” and saying it “may” be homophobic Continue reading

Senator Lists USAFA Pagan Chapel in Government Waste

The 2011 edition of the annual “Wastebook” (pdf) published by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), which contains a list of “wasteful and low priority government spending,” includes the “Falcon Circle” erected by the US Air Force Academy earlier in the year.

79) Air Force Academy Builds “Stonehenge-like Worship Center” – (CO) $51,474

The worship center is “for the handful of current or future cadets whose religions fall under the broad category of ‘Earth-based,’” which includes Wiccans, druids and pagans.

Three students out of 4,300 students self-reported as currently having an “earth-based” religion…

The American people support religious freedom, but this investment challenges their faith in government to ever make smart budget choices.

Senator Coburn seems to make the point that his complaint is an issue of “smart budget choices” rather than a lack of desire to support religious freedom.  It’s also important to note that millions of dollars are spent on US military facilities to support the religious liberty of US troops.

While one could argue the “per capita” for pagans was Continue reading

Pagans Get “Warm Welcome” at Lackland AFB, USAFA

A “pagan newswire collective” article on the religious environment in the US Air Force painted a picture of a tolerant, accepting, and respectful military treatment of even the most minority religions.

Really.

The pagan report is only the most recent outside observer to highlight the positive religious environment in the US Air Force.  Starting at Lackland Air Force Base:

“Our airmen…should know that the Air Force has gone to great lengths to ensure their spirit was nurtured while in basic training,” says Rev. Tamie Rieth…, the Wicca Distinctive Faith Group Leader (DFGL) at Lackland for just over 6 years.  Rev. Rieth is one of 5 instructors who lead the weekly Wiccan services for BMT trainees.

The article says 150 to 300 trainees attend the Sunday Continue reading

USAFA Cadets Share Paganism, Atheism

As noted by an official Air Force Academy news release, cadet members of the USAFA “Freethinkers” group invited the cadet pagan SPIRE group to meet and discuss their beliefs and experiences.

SPIRE members set aside time each week for the religiously diverse cadet population that includes Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, atheists, agnostics and others to discuss religion, spirituality and philosophy.

While the groups are for the benefit of cadets, like groups of other ideologies, they appear to be facilitated by staff or volunteers.  Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier Continue reading

Osama bin Laden Confirms Weinstein’s Claim?

Statements released by Osama bin Laden have validated the fears of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Michael Weinstein, whose organization has repeatedly claimed that associations of Christianity with the US military provide “propaganda” and “recruiting tools” to America’s adversaries, endangering US troops and the mission of the nation.  Continue reading

MRFF Tangles with the Rules. Again.

Michael Weinstein’s MRFF has again demonstrated its tendency to hold others to a standard to which it does not hold itself.  It previously exhibited such behavior with its loose honoring of copyright, and also when it distributed letter from a member of the military, and of the MRFF, that was derogatory to military leadership.

This time, the MRFF (specifically, Bekki Miller) posted an email on their website written by Dustin Chalker (the plaintiff in the abandoned MRFF lawsuit).  His email was in response Continue reading

USAFA Pagan Cross Investigation Closed

The US Air Force Academy closed its investigation into the placement of the shape of a cross at a pagan site on the Academy grounds.  No new information was apparently determined, nor was any action taken.  To their credit, the Colorado Springs Gazette printed the most accurate description so far of the incident, saying

The cross – consisting of two railroad ties propped against a boulder…

Other organizations and individuals had inaccurately implied a ‘large cross’ was ‘made of railroad ties’ and ‘carried to the site’ to be ‘erected in the center’ of the pagan circle.  The Gazette left out only the facts the two boards were not connected and were already on the site before the incident occurred.

In noting the end of its investigation, the Air Force refused to characterize the incident as a hate crime:  Continue reading

Academy Pagan Leader Fears “Brainwashed” Christians

A few weeks ago the Colorado Springs Gazette published a short email excerpt from the designated pagan leader at the USAF Academy, TSgt Brandon Longcrier.  In the quote, the Gazette highlighted Longcrier’s fear for his cadets in the face of what he described as a “hate crime” (the crossed shoe boards at the pagan circle).

Not much later, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to whom the letter was addressed, published a series of letters it had received on the subject.  The authors’ names were redacted, but in one the author clearly identified himself as the person who found the cross at the pagan site and took “the picture,” which is known to be Longcrier.  In addition, it includes the quotes from the Gazette article attributed to him.

Longcrier’s message reiterates the “hate crime” and criticizes the Air Force Academy for its response.  More interesting, however, is his attitude toward the cadets — particularly those of the Christian Continue reading

Cross Found at USAFA Pagan Circle

This incident has been so mis-reported that it was initially just ignored; however, when General Gould published a statement agreeing that this incident has been “sensationalized,” he gave credence to the view that this situation is being grossly mischaracterized, and that people are inappropriately using it for their personal advancement.  An analysis thus follows…

Despite the positive hullabaloo over the US Air Force Academy pagan circle, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has now denounced the placement of a cross at the site, an act that occurred before the recent positive press reports.  Though the incident took place several weeks ago, the MRFF appeared to time the press release to counter the recent spate of “good news” about religious tolerance at USAFA.

For the record, it should go without saying that Continue reading